We envision a future consisting of long term sustainable solutions, transparency, and efficiency that allows us to achieve visible and measurable results in the well-being of children growing up in orphanages. Our projects are designed to allow orphanages to implement sustainable sources of income to improve living conditions within the home, as well as increase access to education for each child. We believe each child has a right to grow in a loving, nurturing environment with the same educational and social opportunities as any child with parents would have.
Our online network consists of profiles of the homes we work with, each with updates, pictures, and video, designed to elevate the level of transparency on what is going in the homes and how funds are being spent. We work with these homes to create sustainable income generating projects. A few examples of these include a pig farm in Cameroon, allowing the home to sell pigs in the local market; a chicken coop project in Kenya, allowing the home access to their own eggs, thus reducing the need to spend money in the market; Solar Panel installation in India, for a home housing AIDS orphans needing constant medical care, the solar panels will provide free electricity for their medical clnic, eliminating costly electric bills.
We also have a product line of bracelets we sell in the U.S., a portion of each sale is set aside for our education fund. This fund is distributed amongst orphanages that need help paying for educational needs for each child - school uniforms, enrollment fees, textbooks, school shoes, etc. The needs are met on a rolling basis, and any home can submit their list as long as they are in good standing with Kitechild.
Other program areas currently in development include a corporate overstock program, where we reach out to companies who may have overstock product that would be useful for the children, including bedding, shoes, and clothing.
In the US, we have launched our "inspiration Series" where we partner with a local non-profit supporting foster children by providing them with mentors. We sponsor inspirational career days for the children, and accompanied by their mentors, they participate in activites such "culinary day", meeting and speaking with the head chef of a fine dining restaruant, preparing a meal with him, and learning the ins-n-outs of a career as a chef.
Kitechild was founded in 2009 by two UCLA alumni. Pollyanna Salas grew up with missionary parents and traveled constantly in developing countries, visiting many orphanage homes. It was there that she saw the poor conditions many children were living in, and the lack of attention they were under. In college, remembering her childhood travels and seeing the rise of the internet and social media, Pollyanna envisioned a website that could bring light to these children and gather the online community to offer support and transparency for a better living situation.
Jacqueline Herrera came in as co-founder in 2009, when Pollyanna asked me to join her in this venture. In 2010, due to difficult circumstances, she had no choice but to become a foster parent to her 16 year old brother. It was then that she realized how easy it is for a child to lose their parents to any cause - death, neglect, abuse, illness. It happens for any reason and is extremely painful for a child. She was fortunate enough to be able to take in her brother, but for many families and children living in developing countries, the financial burden is too much to bear.
We believe that all children deserve to live happy and healthy lives. They all deserve love and support, and access to education. It is through this support that we can help these children rise above the cycle of poverty, neglect, and often, abuse, that led them to orphanages in the first place. By rising above the cycle, they can in turn become integrated members of their communities, living peaceful, normal lives.
Instead of giving hand-outs to orphan children, or the orphanages they must live in, empower them with the tools to succeed on their own! Many people ask us about our organization name, so here is the background: In order for a Kite to fly, it requires a bit of a push, support, and guidance. We offer the same to children so that they too may take off and soar.